On June 28, Domingo German became the 24th pitcher in MLB history to throw a perfect game – which occurs when a pitcher(s) records 27 outs without allowing a single batter to get on base. If a batter were to reach base by way of a walk, hit-by-pitch, dropped third strike, or error, it would ruin the perfect game.
German’s perfect game came in his 107th career game and 85th career start – his New York Yankees ended up beating the Oakland Athletics 11-0. He finished the game with 9 strikeouts and threw just 99 pitches in 9.0 innings pitched – of those 99 pitches, 72 of them were strikes and 27 of them were balls.
It was quite the performance for someone who has struggled over the past three seasons. He had an impeccable 18-4 record in 24 starts in 2019, but hasn’t been the same since being suspended in 2020 for violating the league’s personal conduct policy – he’s just 11-16 in 50 starts since the 2021 season.
Can You Name the 23 Other Pitchers Who Threw a Perfect Game?
Regardless of how his career has shaped out, Domingo German wrote his name in the history books as just the 24th pitcher to throw a perfect game – something no pitcher has done twice in their career. It also marked the fourth time a New York Yankees’ pitcher did so, which now stands alone as the most all-time.
The MLB’s first-ever perfect game occurred on June 12, 1880 when Lee Richmond of the Worcester Worcesters recorded 27 outs without a single Cleveland Blues’ batter reaching a base. He threw five strikeouts in the 1-0 win, which took place at the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds in Massachusetts.
Just five days later, John Montgomery Ward of the Providence Grays threw the second perfect game in MLB history in a 5-0 win against the Buffalo Bisons. While it was an incredible accomplishment, it should be noted that baseball was a lot different back then and the World Series era didn’t start until 1903.
With that being said, the World Series era has produced 22 perfect games from 22 pitchers – one of which being Domingo German. Now, let’s put you to the test and see how many others you can think of!
1. Cy Young (May 5, 1904 vs. Philadelphia Athletics)
On May 5, 1904, Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young pitched the third perfect game in MLB history and the first in American League history. As a member of the Boston Americans, he pitched 9.0 hitless, walkless, errorless, and scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Athletics – striking out 8 batters in the process.
The game took place at Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds and there were roughly 10,270 fans in attendance. The Americans were held scoreless for five innings, but scored one run in the 6th inning and two more in the 7th inning. The 3-0 win was his second victory of the season in his 15th year in the MLB.
2. Addie Joss (October 2, 1908 vs. Chicago White Sox)
On October 2, 1908, Addie Joss pitched the fourth perfect game in MLB history and he only needed 74 pitches to do so – a record low that still stands today. As a member of the Cleveland Naps, he struck out 3 batters and pitched 9.0 hitless, scoreless, errorless, and walkless innings vs. the Chicago White Sox.
The game took place at League Park I with nearly 10,500 fans in attendance. It was one of the closest pitching battles of all-time with Ed Walsh of the White Sox striking out 15 batters in 8.0 innings pitched – he only allowed four hits in the loss. Meanwhile, Joss earned his 24th win of the year late in the season.
3. Charlie Robertson (April 30, 1922 vs. Detroit Tigers)
On April 30, 1922, Charlie Robertson pitched the fifth perfect game in MLB history and the first perfect game while on the road – it was his fourth start of the season. As a member of the Chicago White Sox, he struck out six and pitched 9.0 scoreless, hitless, errorless, and walkless innings vs. the Detroit Tigers.
The game took place at Navin Field with roughly 25,000 fans in attendance. Robertson got the help he needed in the second inning thanks to a two-run double by Earl Sheely. The White Sox won the game 2-0 and it came roughly 13 years after the White Sox allowed a perfect of their own to Addie Joss.
4. Don Larsen (October 8, 1956 vs. Brooklyn Dodgers)
On October 8, 1956, Don Larsen pitched the sixth perfect game in MLB history and the first in more than 34 years – the longest we’ve ever had to wait between perfect games. It’s also the first and only perfect game in World Series history, while also being the first of three perfect games in postseason history.
As a member of the New York Yankees, Larsen struck out 7 batters and pitched 9.0 scoreless, hitless, errorless, and walkless innings vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers. The game took place at Yankee Stadium I with more than 64,500 fans in attendance – the win gave the Yankees a 3-2 series lead. They later won 4-3.
5. Jim Bunning (June 21, 1964 vs. New York Mets)
On June 21, 1964, Jim Bunning pitched the seventh perfect game in MLB history. He’s one of seven pitchers to throw a perfect game and a second no-hitter. He’s also one of five pitchers with a no-hitter in the AL and NL, as well as the only pitcher with a no-hitter, 100 wins, and 1,000 strikeouts in both leagues.
As a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, Bunning struck out 10 batters en route to his perfect game – which ended in a 6-0 victory for the Phillies. It was his seventh win of the season and he went on to finish his 1964 campaign with a 19-8 record. Bunning was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.
6. Sandy Koufax (September 9, 1965 vs. Chicago Cubs)
On September 9, 1965, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax threw the 8th perfect game in MLB history. He finished with 14 strikeouts (tied-most in perfect game), had at least one strikeout in each inning, and became the first left-hander to pitch a perfect game in the modern era. It was also his fourth no-hitter.
It was Koufax’s 36th game (and 22nd win) of the 1965 season and 349th game of his career. It was a close game that could’ve gone either way. Bob Hendley of the Chicago Cubs pitched 8.0 innings, only allowing one hit, one walk, and one run in the loss. Luckily for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Koufax was perfect.
7. Catfish Hunter (May 8, 1968 vs. Minnesota Twins)
On May 8, 1968, Hall of Fame pitcher Catfish Hunter threw the 9th perfect game in MLB history as a member of the Oakland Athletics. He struck out 11 batters en route to a 4-0 victory against the Minnesota Twins that saw him pitch just as well as he batted – he was 3 for 4 with a double and three runs batted in.
It was Hunter’s sixth game (third win) of the 1968 season and 103rd game of his career. He went on to play in 36 games that season and had a 13-13 record with 172 strikeouts and a 3.35 ERA in 234.0 innings pitched. He won a Cy Young Award in 1974 and won five World Series in his legendary career.
8. Len Barker (May 15, 1981 vs. Toronto Blue Jays)
On May 15, 1981, Len Barker threw the 10th perfect game in MLB history and he did so without throwing more than two balls against any one batter. It was the second and most recent perfect game by a Cleveland Naps/Indians/Guardians pitcher and it came in a 3-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
It was Barker’s fifth game (third win) of the 1981 season and the 116th game of his career. He went on to pitch in 22 games that year and finished with an 8-7 record – he was named an All-Star for the first and only time in his career in 1981. He retired with a 74-76 record and 975 strikeouts in 1,323.2 innings.
9. Mike Witt (September 30, 1984 vs. Texas Rangers)
On September 30, 1984, Mike Witt threw the 11th perfect game in MLB history and he needed just 94 pitches to get the job done. It was also one of only five perfect games to occur on the final day of the regular season – what a way to end a season, right? He struck out 10 batters en route to a 1-0 victory.
It was his 34th game (15th win) of the 1984 season and the 132nd game of his career. It came at the end of what many would describe as his breakout year – it was his fourth year in the league and the first time he surpassed the 10-win mark, let alone the 15-win mark. He retired with 117 wins and 1,373 strikeouts.
10. Tom Browning (September 16, 1988 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers)
On September 16, 1988, Tom Browning threw the 12th perfect game in MLB history and, like Len Barker in 1981, did so without throwing more than two balls against any one batter. He was the third left-handed pitcher to throw a perfect game and only needed 102 pitches to do so – 70 of which were strikes.
It was Browning’s 33rd game (16th win) of the 1988 season and the 145th game of his career – finished the season 18-5 with 124 strikeouts. He came close to throwing a no-hitter three months prior and came close to a second perfect game on July 4, 1989 – a leadoff double in the 9th inning ended the bid.
11. Dennis Martinez (July 28, 1991 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers)
On July 28, 1991, Dennis Martinez of the Montreal Expos threw the 13th perfect game in MLB history and became the first Latin-American to throw a perfect game in the MLB. He only threw 96 pitches – 66 of which were strikes – and struck out five batters en route to a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It was Martinez’s 22nd game (11th win) of the 1991 season and the 482nd game of his career. He went on to pitch in 31 games that season and finished the year with a 14-11 record, 123 strikeouts, and a 2.39 ERA in 222.0 innings pitched. He was a four-time All-Star in his career and won the 1983 World Series.
12. Kenny Rogers (July 28, 1994 vs. California Angels)
On July 28, 1994, Kenny Rogers of the Texas Rangers threw the 14th perfect game in MLB history – it occurred on the three-year anniversary of Denny Martinez’s perfect game. He only needed 98 pitches – 64 of which were strikes – and struck out eight batters en route to a 4-0 win over the California Angels.
It was Rogers’ 22nd game (11th win) of the 1994 season and the 343rd game of his career. He went on to pitch in two more games that season, but lost both efforts and ended the year with an 11-8 record, 120 strikeouts, and a 4.46 ERA in 167.1 innings pitched. He retired after the 2008 season with 219 wins.
13. David Wells (May 17, 1998 vs. Minnesota Twins)
On May 17, 1998, David Wells of the New York Yankees threw the 15th perfect game in MLB history – he later admitted to having a ‘raging, skull-rattling hangover’ during the game, adding to the legend. It was actually the second perfect game of his baseball career, having thrown one as a senior in high school.
Wells struck out 11 batters and threw 120 pitches – 79 of which were strikes – en route to a 4-0 win over the Minnesota Twins. It was his 9th game (5th win) of the 1998 season and the 389th game of his career. He went on to finish the year with an 18-4 record, 3.49 ERA, and 163 strikeouts in 214.1 innings pitched.
14. David Cone (July 18, 1999 vs. Montreal Expos)
On July 18, 1999, David Cone of the New York Yankees threw the 16th perfect game in MLB history – becoming the second consecutive Yankee and the third Yankee of all-time to do so. Yogi Berra and Don Larsen – the pitcher-catcher duo who threw a perfect game in 1956 – were in attendance for this game.
Cone struck out 10 batters and threw just 88 pitches (68 of which were strikes) in the 6-0 win over the Montreal Expos. It was his 18th game (10th win) of the 1999 season and the 377th game of his career. He went on to pitch in 31 games that year and finished with a 12-9 record, 3.44 ERA, and 177 strikeouts.
15. Randy Johnson (May 18, 2004 vs. Atlanta Braves)
On May 18, 2004, Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks threw the 17th perfect game in MLB history. To this day, he’s the oldest pitcher to ever throw a perfect game – he was 40 years old at the time – and it was actually his second perfect game after throwing one in high school.
Johnson struck out 13 batters and threw 117 pitches – 87 of which were strikes – en route to a 2-0 win over the Atlanta Braves. It was his 9th game (4th win) of the 2004 season and the 463rd game of his career. He went on to finish the year with a 16-14 record, 2.61 ERA, and 290 strikeouts in 245.2 innings.
16. Mark Buehrle (July 23, 2009 vs. Tampa Bay Rays)
On July 23, 2009, Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox threw the 18th perfect game in MLB history. It came just two years after throwing the first no-hitter of his career – a performance that was one walk away from being a perfect game. He’s one of 24 pitchers to throw multiple no-hitters in their career.
Buehrle struck out six batters and threw 116 pitches (76 of which were strikes) en route to a 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. It was his 20th game (11th win) of the 2009 season and the 313th game of his career. He finished the year with a 13-10 record, 3.84 ERA, and 105 strikeouts in 213.1 innings pitched.
17. Dallas Braden (May 9, 2010 vs. Tampa Bay Rays)
On May 9, 2010, Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics threw the 19th perfect game in MLB history. He achieved the impressive feat on Mother’s Day and he celebrated the perfect game with his grandmother – it was a notable moment in his career after losing his mother to melanoma in 2001. What a story, right?
Braden struck out six batters and threw 109 pitches (77 of which were strikes) en route to a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays – marking the second time in 10 months that the Rays allowed a perfect game. It was Braden’s 7th game (4th win) of the 2010 season and the 68th game of his injury-shortened career.
18. Roy Halladay (May 29, 2010 vs. Florida Marlins)
On May 29, 2010, Hall of Fame pitcher Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies threw the 20th perfect game in MLB history. It happened just 20 days after Dallas Braden’s perfect game, marking the first time in the modern era that two pitchers threw a perfect game in the same season – let alone the same month.
Halladay struck out 11 batters and threw 115 pitches (72 of which were strikes) en route to a 1-0 victory over the Flordia Marlins. As a token of his appreciation, he purchased 60 Baume and Mercier custom watches and handed them out to his teammates. It was also the first of two no-hitters for him that season.
19. Philip Humber (April 21, 2012 vs. Seattle Mariners)
On April 21, 2012, Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox threw the 21st perfect game in MLB history. He received a congratulatory phone call from then-President Barack Obama, who was a noted White Sox fan. He struck out nine batters and threw just 96 pitches en route to a 4-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.
It was Humber’s second game (first win) of the 2012 season and just the 56th game of his career. He went on to pitch in 26 games that year and finished with a 5-5 record, 6.44 ERA, and 85 strikeouts in 102.0 innings pitched. He only played one more season in the majors before fading out of the league.
20. Matt Cain (June 13, 2012 vs. Houston Astros)
On June 13, 2012, Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants threw the 22nd perfect game in MLB history and was awarded the key to the city as a result. It marked the second time in the modern era that two pitchers threw a perfect game in the same season (including Humber’s perfect game two months prior).
Cain struck out 14 batters (tied-most all-time in a perfect game) and threw 125 pitches (86 of which were strikes) en route to a 10-0 blowout win over the Houston Astros. He went on to pitch in 32 games during the 2012 season and finished with a 16-5 record, 2.79 ERA, and 193 strikeouts in 219.1 innings pitched.
21. Felix Hernandez (August 15, 2012 vs. Tampa Bay Rays)
On June 13, 2012, Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners threw the 23rd perfect game in MLB history – marking the first and only time three pitchers had thrown a perfect game in the same season. He struck out 12 batters and threw 113 pitches (77 strikes) en route to a 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
It was Hernandez’s 25th game (11th win) of the 2012 season and the 230th game of his career – he pitched three complete games in the month of August. He went on to finish the year with a 13-9 record, 3.06 ERA, and 223 strikeouts in 232.0 innings pitched – he last played in 2019 and has 169 career wins.
Pitchers Who Came Close With an ‘Unofficial Perfect Game’
In the 147-year history of the MLB, there have been three instances where a pitcher retired 27 batters without allowing a single baserunner, but it didn’t go down as an official perfect game. For example, Ernie Shore had a perfect game in 1917, but he replaced Babe Ruth in the first inning after he allowed a walk.
In 1959, Harvey Haddix had a perfect game through 12 innings, but it all came crashing down in the 13th inning and his Pittsburgh Pirates lost the game 1-0. In 1995, Pedro Martinez had a perfect game through nine innings, but allowed a hit in the 10th inning – he was immediately replaced, but still got the victory.
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Outside of those three instances, there were four other games in MLB history where a pitcher had a shot at a perfect game, but the game was called before the end of the ninth inning. Two of those games were doubleheaders that only went 7 innings, while the other two games were called due to rain/weather.
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